If you pay attention to nothing else:
Read Dan Hon — formerly of W+K in Portland — on the evolving relationship we have as both makers and users with attention. For all of the emphasis placed on the “attention economy”, there’s relatively little talk about the things that this attention displaces, or with which it competes. This gem, in particular, is worth taping up somewhere visible:

The corollary of attention being the most valuable thing to a company or a brand is that it’s also the most valuable thing to a person

Dan’s quasi-daily email newsletter is absolutely essential reading to anyone orbiting in the advertising / experience / startup space — exhaustively well-researched, well-reasoned and well-written. Go ahead, cheat on Dark Matter.

Effectively asking the same questions this week (with a smart Chekov reference): BBH London Chairman Jim Carroll:

Sign up, sign in, sign on. Check in, check out. Like me, friend me, share me. Blipp me, bookmark me. Rate me, recommend me. QR code me. Upload me, download me. Facebook me, fan me. Tweet me, re-tweet me. Hashtag why?


It was a great week to bask in the pale, pulsating, cerulean glow of the Internet of Things: the cleverly-named bttn, a web-connected button reminiscent of Belkin’s WEMO and evocative of IFTTT was made available for pre-order.

Google brought its driverless cars to the Palo Alto streets, and Adam Greenfield — formerly of the design group at Nokia and author of the fascinating Everyware — penned a thoughtful piece on these vehicles in the context of New York City.

Most critical, though, was the post by GE CMO Beth Comstock for LinkedIn on our relationships with the increasingly-smarter machines that are finding homes in our everyday lives.

Zadie Smith understands storytelling better than any brand strategist you’ll ever meet. Really.

File under practical psychology: it seems that over-delivering on a promise isn’t really that much better than simply delivering on a promise — but both are light years better than failing to deliver on a promise. That has enormous implications for resource management within organizations, among other things. In related news, ‘cumulative advantage’ tends to play an especially significant role in how we determine those things that are ‘great’ or ‘essential’. This may explain the popularity of Dark Side of the Moon.

danah boyd — as close as we’ll get to an absolute authority on the relationships that teenagers have with technology — wrote a spectacular piece this week on why today’s teens don’t relate to older notions of “selling-out”.

If you’ve not read Scott Brinker’s take on The Financial Times’ report on the evolving relationship between marketing and information technology, it’s well-worth your time. For agency folk, the Ignition Group post on agency structure as antidote to squeezed margins is a good, if sobering, take on the new normal.

And for those of you ready to come down off the synthetic high of the sharing economy, a smart piece on The Conversation arguing that Airbnb is not accommodation sharing, it is formalised lending. Uber is not ride sharing, it is a transportation service.


One of our favorite thinkers and writers — Ethan Zuckerman of the Berkman Center at MIT Media Lab — had a really great piece this week that examines a pressing, legitimate question on all of our minds:

Why is Pharrell crying?

Turns out he’s touched by the Georemix: the global phenomenon of localized reworks and remixes of popular videos that took his Happy video to unexpected places on 6 continents and more than 50 countries. Zuckerman’s brief history of the georemix takes him from ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke’ to contemporary Iranian politics — and it’s completely fascinating.